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Ex-Wisconsin WR Kraig Appleton charged with first-degree murder

The troubled life of a former Wisconsin football player has taken an even more tragic turn.

According to the Belleville News-Democrat in Illinois, Kraig Appleton has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of a Belleville woman on April 20. Appleton was arrested over the weekend.

The victim was shot in the abdomen and later died from her wounds at a local hospital. Appleton’s relationship with the woman, 41-year-old Kellie Ferrell, is unclear. The News-Democrat notes that "[p]olice are not discussing the motive or the events leading up to the shooting.”

Appleton is currently being held in the St. Clair County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Appleton was a four-star member of the Wisconsin football Class of 2009. The East St. Louis, Ill., standout was the No. 4 player in the state regardless of position. He was also the No. 17 wide receiver in the country.

As a true freshman, Appleton caught three passes for 26 yards. The receiver had been expected to play an even bigger role in the Wisconsin football offense in 2010. However, in February of that year, he was one of three Badgers suspended for violating unspecified team rules. Shortly thereafter, Appleton withdrew from the university.

Appleton never played another down of college football.

According to the News-Democrat, Appleton was shot multiple times in 2011 and was hospitalized.